Southland District Mayor Gary Tong is eyeing up the same job in Invercargill.
Tong has held his current mayoralty for three terms - and will run against Invercargill Mayor Tim Shadbolt in next year's local election.
Tong says he was concerned about breaking the news to Shadbolt - but the incumbent was 'ever the professional'.
Tong told Heather du Plessis-Allan he's quietly confident of his chances.
“From the chatter I’ve had in the last 12 hours, it’s been absolutely amazing. The comments of support that have come through on texts and phone calls.”